Mini interview with MaryAnn Tarto, author of Milton the Square Shell Turtle

My guest today is children's author MaryAnn Tarto, who has a super cute new book out about a little turtle named Milton. 
Welcome to my blog, MaryAnn. Why don't you start by telling us a little about yourself. 
I grew up in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio.  I currently live in Wadsworth, OH. With my husband Dennis and our cat.  After high school I attended Southern Ohio Business College and received a degree in communication.  I also attended Cooper School of Art for one year.  I worked several years for a publishing company in Cleveland. My husband and I enjoy nature walks, antiques, yards sales and being with our family.
What are some of the things that have inspired your writing?
I would have to say when I write my stories I am inspired by past memories, special events and nature.  All of these combined get my creative juices flowing and my imagination takes over and I love when that happens.
Do you do first drafts on a computer or by hand?
I do both.  I keep notebooks and pens in every room and I’ll jot down an idea and use it later.  Typing on the computer is much faster for me, but I wear reading glasses when I use the computer and often I need to give my eyes a break.  So doing both works best for me. 
How do you see the future of book publishing, both traditional, electronic and print on demand?
In this day and age of technology and people wanting the need to speed(per say), I see good things ahead.  Supply and demand are necessary for a growing economy.  
What happens before sitting down to write?
I will usually grab a cup of coffee, make sure my trusty old dictionary is on the desk next to my computer(because it is amazing how being out of school for ages can cause me not to spell correctly) then I’ll turn the computer on and get my thoughts in order and begin to type from my notebook of ideas only to realize those ideas suck and I need to come up with new ones, so I just start typing away to see wha t I can come up with, and usually, that works best for me.  However, I still jot down ideas, even when I’m typing at the computer and I will use those for a later reference. 
Do you do a lot of research for your books?
Yes.  When I wrote Milton The Square Shell Turtle, I researched all I could on turtles because I wanted a land turtle, not a water turtle and I wanted to be sure there was such a thing.  Come to find out, there are and each with their own personality.  Also in my next book Milton befriends two hedgehogs, so I’m researching all I can about them.  (Fascinating little creatures)

 About the Book:
Milton is a story of a turtle. Unlike other turtles with round or oval shells, Milton has a square shell. One afternoon, and being new to the area, he decides to take a walk to the pond to relax.
Just when he thinks he finds the perfect spot, he can't stay. Not wanting to cause a problem, he goes further up the pond, only to discover, home is the best place to relax.

Title: Milton the Square Shell Turtle
Author: MaryAnn Tarto
Illustrator: Diane Lucas
Publisher: Halo Publishing, Int.
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
ISBN: 978-1-61244-103-1
Publication Date: June 2013

Places available for sale:

You can find out more about MaryAnn Tarto, her book and World of Ink Author/Book Tour at

To learn more about the World of Ink Tours visit   


Mayra Calvani said…
It's a pleasure to have you here, MaryAnn! Best of luck with your tour!

Rosi said…
This looks like a really cute book. I will have to check it out. Thanks for telling me about it and for the interesting interview.
Mayra Calvani said…
Thanks for stopping by, Rosi! :-)